Saturday 21 January 2017

Northern Ireland secure top spot

Published 12/10/2015 | 02:30

Craig Cathcart scores for Northern Ireland
Craig Cathcart scores for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland were denied a seventh win of their triumphant Euro 2016 campaign but a point in Finland was still enough to see them break new ground by winning Group F.

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In doing so they became the first fifth seeds in European qualifying history to finish top of the pile.

Craig Cathcart looked to have delivered even more when he headed home a maiden international goal in the first half but, after a lethargic display, Finland nicked a 1-1 draw three minutes from time through Paulus Arajuuri.

Romania booked their place in the finals by finishing runners-up to Northern Ireland courtesy of a 3-0 win in the Faroe Islands.

The victory left unbeaten Romania with 20 points.

Hungary had to settle for third place after losing 4-3 in Greece and will try to reach the finals via the play-offs.

Irish Independent

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